Archives for posts with tag: feeling feelings

The possible (likely) impeachment of the US President? I don’t care right now, at all. Local weather? I’m indifferent; it’s meaningless. Work? Connectivity? Housekeeping? The appointment I have scheduled later? Nothing matters beyond one small (huge) thing; I’m sitting alone, heart aching, while my partner is elsewhere, also alone (an assumption), and probably having a less than ideal experience, too.

…I’m not even sure what went wrong, exactly. We started down the path of a conversation… we converse daily, often, and manage both deep conversations, and light-hearted banter (and lots of things in between) quite effortlessly, most of the time. Was I pre-disposed towards frustration, after spending a morning frustrated by technical difficulties, on a rare day working from home? Was he having his experience from within a context that had him potentially predisposed toward difficulties, himself? Is this even “about” either of us, at all? We are each having our own experience – this much is reliably true. I feel, at the moment, sort of bitter, rather heartsick, fighting off tears I don’t want to deal with, and feeling that I am a failure as a partner because – how can I not manage something so fucking basic as a conversation??

In all respects it was a lovely morning to start with. I sit staring disinterestedly into this 3rd cup of coffee, trying to hold onto the morning’s delights. Elusive. Those moments feel as if they were only a dream, now. I am acutely aware I have a “routine” check up with my therapist coming in a couple weeks, and I find myself struggling with a feeling of shame over maybe really needing that time, even after so long, and so much progress. It flares up as resentment and anger, then recedes as a sort of sad gray shadow over my experience, and a hint of despair and futility. “Doesn’t it ever stop…?” My demons attack where I am weakest, that’s a given, and I’m unsurprised by the bleak feeling of doubt, the sense of loss, of abandonment, the feeling of hurt and unworthiness. Damn, this is shitty.

…I hope he’s okay (he’s probably feeling shitty, too).

I look into my coffee mug again, as if I were even going to drink it. I put the cup back down. I also don’t care about this cup of coffee – not compared to how much I care that I am enduring this moment, or that he is enduring his… or that we ended up in this place, in the first place. This coffee doesn’t even smell good. I made it the same as always. No interest in drinking it now. It just sits. Same as me. Just sitting here, mired in this mess. I tried the “walk away and calm down” approach to handling miscommunication and frustration… it does not seem to have provided any useful benefit. I mean… I suppose it’s better than waiting around poking a hornets’ nest until one or the other of us seriously lose our temper. I can’t stand raised voices. Instead… oh sure, it’s fucking quiet, but… I am isolated with my despair… my most dangerous personal foe. “Misery loves company”? Nah. I don’t buy that. Misery doesn’t love a fucking thing, it’s grim, stoic – a loiterer who takes everything pleasant and destroys it without hesitation.

…I even know the steps to take to not be here… and can’t raise the motivation to do a thing about it… like giving up. The futility becomes a quiet waterfall of hot tears. A lifetime of frustration and learned helplessness clench my jaws. My back aches with the weight of it. This? This right here is another very human experience. (“It’s just a moment”, I hear my internal reminder on autopilot, “this will pass. It’s just weather, not climate.” I can’t hear it; it feels very distant and irrelevant.)

Too fucking human. So… what’s to be done about it, then? Yeah, um… I don’t know right now. I’m too busy feeling hurt and filled with chaos and damage. Let me get done with all that, then I’ll move on to doing something else… probably sort myself out at some point… maybe even begin again.

Yesterday was blazing hot (for where I live) and the heat of summer blasted the face of the streets and buildings with ferocious and unrelenting boldness. It got to a high of 97 degrees (F) or so.  I still did my midday walk, although I made doubly sure I was well hydrated. I still walked the pieces of my commute that required travel in the hotter part of the day. Why not? I used to live in Fresno. Yesterday it was something like 105 degrees (F) in Fresno. lol. I will happily take on the 97 versus the 105.

Hello, Sunshine!

Hello, Sunshine!

Perspective matters.

The evening felt very short. There wasn’t much shared time to connect over the day’s details. I started, but didn’t finish, a favorite movie; I had trouble being really engaged. I feel pre-occupied. I feel… discontent. It could be hormones. It could be the state of the world. There are a lot of details of life that can result in a feeling of discontent.  It’s a very human experience.

As it turns out, I require very little to feel contented. A state of calm and contentment is pretty natural for me, given a calm environment and pleasant circumstances. Life isn’t always so orderly. Desires and expectations can definitely undermine a feeling of contentment.  Things simply ‘going wrong’.  Frustration, although it is an emotion all its own, can sure share the stage with discontent, in my own experience; I rarely feel contented when I am also frustrated.  Feeling unheard can result in a profound feeling of discontent. Actually… discontent seems a rather gentle warning siren in my emotional life that something is amiss. When I listen, and attend to the feelings, and take care of me it is sometimes a simple matter to get my experience back to some pleasantly contented state of being.  Ignoring discontent is like a promise to seriously derail my emotional balance at some later time.

I am putting a lot of study and practice into being more emotionally intelligent.  It matters, quite possible more so than intellect, education, or so many other cognitive characteristics. Our emotional intelligence is what we bring along for the fun when we interact with other people.  For much of my adulthood I have been severely deficient in the area of emotional intelligence…and I learned late that a quick wit, a decent education, professional drive, competence…none of that means shit if I am also callous, mean, terse, and insensitive; people will not want to connect with me, or be able to do so easily, and the experience of rejection is unpleasant, to say the least.  I didn’t figure it all out at once – not sure I’ve ‘figured it out’ anyway. I didn’t approach the issue wanting to improve my emotional intelligence. When I headed down this path, I didn’t even know ’emotional intelligence’ is a thing. Still working on it, still studying, and still asking more questions than I am seeking out ‘answers’.

This morning I am making room for feelings of discontent. It’s a very personal experience, not directed outward; a conversation of sorts, with myself.  When meditating on gratitude and loving kindness don’t ease a developing feeling of discontent, these days, I embrace the feeling as simply being part of my experience of the moment, make room in my heart to be compassionate toward myself… and start asking questions. I don’t set the bar high on answers. I have found answers are often not really necessary as much as awareness and tender acceptance of my needs and desires. I am learning to treat myself well, and truly honor my own experience. It’s pretty wow sometimes, particularly in moments of discontent.

I still feel discontented. It could be as simple as the house filling with disorderly looking stacks of boxes; a variety of household projects ongoing require rooms to be emptied, the contents boxed up for safety.  A partner’s recent shipment of household items passed on from a deceased family member add to the clutter. My hiking gear, art supplies, books… I have too much stuff, or too little space. Discontent, for me, often feels like I’ve lost my sense of ‘sufficiency’ or order, on some point or another.  I find myself wondering about the value of scaling down from a king size bed to a twin; panic sets in with a vicious attack by my brain – challenging the status quo with novel thinking, or challenging some point on which I have become complacent, can be really hard on me, but it’s also very good for me in terms of flexible thinking and being adaptable. I give myself a mental wink and a smile, “Look at you go, Brain! Very creative!” I manage not to become invested in the suspiciously convenient narrative offered.

Flowers; not just pretty, also a favorite metaphor for blossoming in our own time.

Flowers; not just pretty, also a favorite metaphor for blossoming in our own time.

More meditation. Yoga. Another espresso. A few minutes in the garden at dawn. Discontent can sneak attack with little provocation; I find it important to be wary, watchful, and compassionate with myself. It’s a very human thing to become caught up in emotions. Dealing with emotions is not my area of greatest strength. I keep studying. Practicing meditation. Making more room to feel my feelings, accept my experience, and show myself some consideration. (The Big 5 again: Consideration)

I still feel discontented. At some point, I will accept some opportunity to make a change that may change my emotional experience for the better. Choices matter. Perspective, too, matters. Today is a therapy day. Maybe there is hidden wisdom to be revealed? Maybe not. Maybe just more practice, but it helps to talk through the challenges.

Blue skies on a summer day, even in the face of the emotion of the moment.

Blue skies on a summer day, even in the face of the emotion of the moment.

Today is a good day to practice. Today is a good day to show myself compassion. Today is a good day to acknowledge what works, what feels good, and what satisfies. Today is a good day to say ‘thank you’. Today is a good day to change the world.